Since December 2015, GDELT's Visual Global Knowledge Graph has analyzed more than half a billion worlwide news images through Google's Cloud Vision API. New Humanitarian's Ben Parker created the fascinating visualization using the VGKG to identify news images of people wearing masks, which he then mosaicked together into a final composite illustration of a Covid-19 virus particle.
The timeline below shows the density of mask-related images since January 2017. In this case both medical masks and football and other masks are grouped together, though the API actually can distinguish many fine-grained types of masks.
You can see a collage of the kinds of images that are returned at top, or see a live gallery here.